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Roberto Bedoya

The Artist’s Intermediary as a Deliberative Practitioner : A Study into the Support Structures for New Artwork Development

        Recent U.S. cultural policy research on artists has focused on the support structures for them, primarily along the lines of working conditions. What has not been researched in a substantial way is the support structures for creativity, i.e. how long does it take for an artwork to find its form and content? Can the support structure for new experimental artworks be improved by having a better understanding of its journey? This thesis will use interviews to examine the makers and supporters of new artworks and the journey of these works, with the goal of identifying obstacles and moments of artistic transformation central to their development, so as to increase our understanding of the creative process and improve the ways it can be supported.

            Of equal important to this thesis is the employment of deliberative policy analysis and practices and the articulation of the deliberative practitioner. The Compact Oxford English defines deliberative as follows: “Deliberativeadjective relating to or involving consideration or discussion.” Involving consideration or discussion is a core principle of being a deliberative practitioner. Deliberative policy analysis and practices vis-à-vis the deliberative practitioner, distinguishes itself from other forms of research by utilizing a methodology that employs the “subjects” of research in the analysis of, and policy responses to, their own conditions. In this research thesis on the support structures for new artwork development, the “subjects” (also known as the stakeholders) include the artists, artist’s intermediaries, patrons, producers, and presenters. The research findings on new artwork development will be vetted with this stakeholder community utilizing the knowledge and insight of these individuals in crafting a policy response to what is revealed and learned from the research.

            Cultural policy discourses have introduced into the cultural management field the terms of the artist intermediary and artist intermediaries. This thesis will add to this discourse on the intermediary and intermediaries, their role as a deliberative practitioner and, in-turn, identify how the principles and methods embedded in this role endows deliberative cultural policy analysis. Deliberative cultural policy analysis, which bridges the gap between theory and practice, is associated with the participatory ethics of deliberative democracy that permits and allows for conjectures, contestation, debate, power sharing, agenda setting, and discursive practices that imagine and articulate the plural.


         Roberto Bedoya works in the field of artists-centered cultural practices.


Thesis Advisor: Nicholas Lowe, Visiting Artist, Arts Administration

Thesis Reader: Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, Senior Research Associate, Director, Culture, Creativity, and Communities Program at the Urban Institute



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